Tonight, I'm in yet another Walmart parking lot
This time in Valparaiso, IN. I'll explain the reasoning behind that later.
The wife and I got to talking it over, and decided that trying to get back home on the 13 year old tire was just too big a risk, and since we needed to get new tires anyway we might as well do it now. That decided, I went on a search for tires, and we ended up heading for the Hollywood Casino RV park near Joliet, IL since there was a better chance of finding tires there than in the little town we were in.
We stayed overnight there, and bright and early this morning I started the search for some Hankook tires. Hankook has a VERY good reputation in the RV World for being very good quality tires at a very decent price. We had seen a Ford dealer that handled trucks right off the exit we took to get to the Casino, so I took note of the name and called them first. He said that they could get the specific tires that I was looking for, and then gave me a quote for $400.00 per tire and then mounting, etc., etc. for a total of nearly $3,500.00. Well now, I did not just fall off of the turnip truck. I had already researched Hankook tires and the ones I wanted were going for under $300.00 on the net. I wasn't expecting 'net prices', but I danged sure wasn't going to pay $100.00+ more than net pricing either.
So, I did a bit of Googling, and found a place that was no more than 15 minutes from the Casino who had the tires in stock, and a price very close to 'net prices'.
It was a really interesting experience. The guys that changed the tires did it all by hand using tire irons. It was amazing to watch them, as they did it with looked like almost no effort at all. It has to be something of an art, and I guess that with the proper technique it's not as hard as us armatures make it.
Any way after 6 new tires, valve stems, balancing, and a front end alignment, the total came to just a tad over $2,500.00 All in all not too bad when you consider that these are 245/70R 19.5 tires. It get's better because we have Good Sam insurance that covered the cost on the tire that blew out, so they will be sending us right at $350.00, which will make out total out of pocket expense @ $2,150.00.
I'll have a couple of pics of the blown tire at the end of this post.
Now, as to why we are heading South instead of East.
Last November when we went on the road trip to get the HDT1000, we made a side stop where I picked up a Haban Flail-Mo, a Brinly Planter, and a MacKissic Sprayer. When I picked those up, I left behind the mounting bracket for the Flail-Mo. Neither the seller nor I knew what it was, and I didn't think to look at the parts list, so I just left it thinking it belonged to something else.
While sitting in a service plaza just over the IN border having a bit of supper, I got to thinking and said to myself "Self, why not call the guy, and make arrangements to dropdown and pick that rascal up since you are already most of the way there anyway". Self replied "Sounds like a plan". Whereupon I broached the subject to wife, and wife said it sounded good to her. So we re-plotted the course, and will be heading for Janesville, IN in the morning. So, that's why we are in Valparaiso tonight.
After that, if the fella calls back, we will be heading for the Ft. Wayne area to look at the Bolens Sweeper.
Just before I started posting I mentioned to the wife, "You know, this all started out as just a "3 hr. tour" to MacDonald, PA.
I gotta say, that this has been the most INTERESTING road trip I've taken yet, and it's still not over.
Now the tire pics. As you can see there was plenty of tread, but the tires on this thing were WAY overdue to be replaced because of their age. Five to six years is really the max age for tires on an RV or you risk just what happened to me.